Dancing is a Fun and Exciting Way to Lose Weight

Lose weight dancing!

Lose weight dancing! Doesn’t it sound fun? Dancing is beneficial for many more reasons than one. It’s not only a fast way to lose weight, but it’s fun and allows you to learn a new skill that will simply catapult your social quotient. Dancing as a form of exercise is also much less monotonous than boring gym routines.

Dance is not just a seductive movement of the body aimed to charm a room full of people, or merely an art form designed to express oneself. Dance is so much more; it’s a way of life, and a way of attaining perfection in the body and the soul.

 

Benefits of Dancing for Weight Loss

There are many ways in which dancing promotes weight loss. Here are a few of them:

  • A lot of people stop exercising because it becomes monotonous and boring. With dancing, that does not really happen and many people are able to stay on track and achieve their weight loss goals.
  • While we lose weight dancing, we also acquire a new skill that helps us to gain greater self-confidence and self-worth.
  • Some people may find traditional workouts like sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups strenuous and hard on the muscles. Dancing, on the other hand, is relaxing and helps burn a lot of calories.
  • Apart from losing weight, dancing also helps develop concentration, patience and relieves stress.

Types of Dance Workouts

These popular dance workouts can be done at home with videos or taken with a group of friends at a fitness class.

  • Fusion dance is for those who are not biased to any particular form of dance. This dance form takes the good parts of many other dance forms, along with their own innovative steps and makes your workout time worthwhile. Highly recommended for people who get bored quickly.
  • Piloxing is a blend of Pilates, boxing and dance. Ideal for those looking to burn calories fast, as well as build and tone muscles. Recommended for the sporty individual.
  • Ballet is an art and fitness routine fused together. Apart from sculpting a svelte figure, it increases flexibility like no other forms of exercise. It also helps in personality development by promoting gracefulness.
  • Zumba is a high energetic Latin inspired dance routine that includes cardio workouts in its routine.

The benefits of dancing for weight loss are endless. Most gyms nowadays offer variety of packages to help you lose weight dancing. Research the form of dance that you like and select a package accordingly, or you can simply tune into the home dance videos and dance your calories away.

 

Can a 10 Minute Workout Be Effective?

Many people find it very difficult to find time to work out, especially for 30 to 60 minutes or more. If this describes you, then you will be pleased to know that you can break up your exercise sessions into 10-minute segments and still receive the same or even greater health benefits than a longer, moderate session.

To achieve optimal results from a shorter workout, you need to increase your exercise intensity. Many studies have shown that shorter, higher intensity workouts are actually better than long, slow endurance exercises at the gym because you can burn more total calories in less time, according to the American Council on Exercise. However, shorter exercise sessions of 20 minutes or less are only more effective than longer workouts when the intensity is high enough. Meaning, your maximum heart rate is equal to or greater than 70 percent during high intensity exercise.

Ideally, you should try to squeeze in at least two to three 10 minute workouts every day. For example, you could workout 10 minutes before work, one on your lunch break and one after work. Or, you might be able to take 10 minutes off to do your routine during your work day and possibly squeeze in two separate sessions or more if time permits.

Your 10-minute workouts should be based on your health goals. Some people may start with one or two cardio-based workouts, such as jogging for 10 minutes in the middle of the day for a mental boost and then maybe do a 10-minute invisible jump rope session in your office in the afternoon when you are running low on energy.

To burn even more calories in less time, add in some interval training. A 10 minute interval workout might look something like this: jog for one minute, push-ups for one minute, jump rope for one minute, squats for one minute, plank for one minute, burpees for one minute, alternating lunges for one minute, chair dips for one minute, jumping jacks for one minute, and then finish with bicycle crunches for one minute. Above all, make sure you do a thorough warm-up and cool-down to avoid injury and improve flexibility.

Now if your health goal is to develop firmer abs or to tone up your whole body, then starting with one or two sessions of muscle toning work would be ideal. You may choose to use an exercise band or do simple, yet challenging body weight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats, lunges and tricep dips. Throwing in your favorite 10 to 20 minute workout video is another good option. The key is to keep your workouts intense and fun to eliminate boredom and get better results.

The only way to know for sure if working out for 10 minutes, up to three times a day, will work for you is to try it for 30 days consistently and see how it affects you. You should also keep a journal and write down how you feel, as well as your eating habits and how your body is changing. For instance, make a note of how you feel mentally, emotionally and energetically after roughly two weeks of doing these workouts. Also, keep track of how fast you get out of breath. Do you find that you can push yourself further over time? Do you feel like you’re getting healthier, and are your clothes fitting better? After 30 days, check your weight to see what these 10 minute workouts have done for you. More than likely, you’ll find that it was a success.

Easy Snacks for Kids to Eat at School or Home

Easy snacks for kids.

Coming up with quick and easy snacks for kids can become an arduous task as your children grow up and become bored of the snack options at home. However, there are a wide range of choices available when it comes to putting together snacks for kids, some of which can even be prepared with their participation. Here are some simple snacks for kids that will tickle their taste buds and provide them with the nutrition they need for growth.

Get Creative with Healthy Options

Interesting salad bowls, open sandwiches, and frozen yogurt are just a few examples of delicious, filling, and healthy snack options. Salad may not sound very appealing, especially to a child who is accustomed to junk food; however, you can always blend fun elements such as colored fruit and vegetables in order to attract their attention. In the same way, easy snacks such as frozen yogurt combined with a variety of chopped fruit would make excellent after school snacks since they are both a snack as well as a dessert option.

Try to create snacks for kids that are mostly healthy, as it will help them to develop a taste for healthy food as opposed to unhealthy food in the future. Some healthy easy snacks that you can have fun preparing with your child include open sandwiches with grilled turkey and cheese, which your child can help make; a fun way to involve them in the snack-making process would be to let them decorate their sandwiches with condiments.

Indulge Once in a While

It is okay to treat children to easy snacks that are not high on the nutrition factor once in a while. Kids will constantly crave the less healthy snack options, and rather than depriving them of their treats, it is okay to let them indulge once in a while with easy snacks that are tastier and incorporate more flavor.

There are ways to add a healthy twist to the most popular and simple snacks for kids. Slider burgers and pizzas are universal favorites and can easily be made healthier by incorporating whole wheat bread and pizza base, and fresh vegetables for toppings rather than processed meat.

By balancing the kind of snacks you feed your kids, you are not only enabling them to lead healthier lives, but are also helping them in developing a taste for making healthier meal choices as they grow older. By enabling them to participate in the snack preparation process from a young age, you are also enabling them to become more independent when it comes to making their own meals.

3 Morning Rituals That Give Your Metabolism a Boost

Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The path to health is filled with all sorts of detours. This is particularly true when weight and energy are concerned. A lot of people want to do things like be able to play tennis, go for a hike, and so forth, but many don’t have the energy to do so. Much of this is due to having a poorly functioning or inefficient metabolism, but what can a person do about their metabolism? This article will be sharing a few methods to help improve your metabolism.

Eat Some Breakfast

There used to be a saying that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. It turns out that this is partially true, because eating in the morning kickstarts your metabolism. Studies have shown that just eating a bit of breakfast can help to improve your metabolic function by about 10%. This, of course, also means that it should be something healthy. When you do this, your body knows it’s time to start the day and it begins the process of preparing to remove waste from the previous day. Something simple with carbs and protein can wake up your mind and make you ready to face the day’s challenges.

Morning Exercise

One of the best things that a person can do for themselves is to take on some kind of exercise routine in the morning. This doesn’t mean that it has to be an intense, pulse pounding exercise, just that you do a small amount of movement enough to get your heart rate up. Morning stretches can be a great example of that. If you stretch your limbs and engage the muscles in your core each morning, you’re far less likely to sustain injury from minor twists, turns, and reaches that you do during your work day. Or, maybe you would prefer a quick morning walk around your neighborhood. The activity you choose should be enjoyable and help you to get fired up and ready to tackle your day.

B Vitamins

When your body has the right nutrients, it will function on a more efficient level. B vitamins can help to stimulate your metabolism. They do this by giving your body the ability to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy that you will need throughout the day. This is why it’s great to have some eggs with whole grain toast in the morning. Taking just a little bit extra can help you to convert that food into energy, so you can be productive and burn calories from morning until night.

Give these simple rituals a try to see if it makes a difference with your metabolism and weight loss efforts.

4 Benefits of Adding Yoga and Pilates to Your Workout Routine

Photo credit: Ms Sarah Welch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

So, you already have a workout routine that is working pretty well for you. You are getting in your cardio and your weight training, but you would like to focus more on full body flexibility, balance, and alleviate some posture issues. Or, maybe you need to find better ways to manage stress and increase your overall sense of well-being. One way to achieve these goals is to add yoga and Pilates to your workout routine. If you aren’t sure this will work for you, consider these benefits.

1. Leaner Muscle

If you are looking for the fastest path to long, lean muscles, then adding Pilates and yoga elements to your overall workout routine is a great choice. Both disciplines involve long periods of sustained stretching, which open up those muscle fibers and help your muscles achieve their maximum natural length, in addition to enhancing your strength, agility, range of motion, and flexibility.

2. Increased Flexibility

One of the obvious benefits of an effective yoga stretching routine is increased flexibility. Regular stretching can improve circulation, prevent injury, and increase range of motion in your ligaments and muscles. Poor posture is also a big problem for many people, which is usually caused by tight lower back muscles. The best approach is to combine both yoga and Pilates to correct those imbalances. Both disciplines are very effective for developing core strength, teaching proper alignment, improving posture awareness, and increasing range of motion.

3. Body Awareness

Body awareness is an integral part of yoga and Pilates. You learn how to be more mindful and aware of your body. You gain a better sense of the position of different body parts and how those parts work together, which is called proprioception. Touching your nose with your index fingers while closing your eyes is one example. Your mind knows where certain body parts are so you don’t always need your eyes to find them. For example, being able to walk in complete darkness without losing your balance. So, as you continue to develop this ability, your relationship with each individual body part and where they exist in space will be enhanced. Some additional benefits include better sleep, less stress and anxiety, and a greater sense of peace.

4. Meditation

Yoga and Pilates also brings in meditation to your daily workout and workout plan, which can help you maintain a state of calm and centered in times of stress. Practicing meditation on a daily basis can also help you work through problems and issues that you normally would not think of during your normal workout. Overall, this can be a huge benefit if you are overly stressed and concerned about your stress levels during your day.

By keeping these benefits in mind, you can begin to look through the large number of yoga and Pilates styles to find the ones that work best for you and your lifestyle. Remember, there are many styles like Barre that combine yoga and Pilates to maximize your time and effort.

 

 

5 Powerful Spices and Herbs to Increase Metabolism

Photo credit: I, [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

When you’re trying to get healthy, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest of fad diets, exercise tools, and the like that can cost you a lot of time, money, and leave you feeling frustrated. Thankfully, with the modern spread of information, it’s a lot easier to research and find which things work for people so that you can reach your health goals. The primary focus of this article is to reveal a few powerful spices and herbs to increase metabolism and improve health.

Ginseng

This famous herb has been associated with energy and metabolism for 2000 years. Its presence in tea has made ginseng tea a favorite among people looking to promote a more energetic lifestyle, and studies have shown that ginseng can greatly help with weight loss if consumed every day for a sustained period. Ginseng was also found to have a favorable effect on insulin sensitivity, making it a good choice for people who deal with diabetes.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine, which is notoriously spicy-and health-enhancing. This powerful spice contains anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce arthritis symptoms and improve other chronic inflammatory conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, also helps to burn fat, promote proper metabolism, aids digestion, and corrects bile deficiencies and excesses.

Cayenne Pepper

In the last few hundred years, there have been a number of tonics that have employed the use of capsaicin, the active or hot ingredient in cayenne pepper to help treat various ailments. Today, science has uncovered more of the specifics in the way that we can use this powerful agent to reduce caloric intake, shrink fat tissues, and clean the vascular system. Research has discovered that it can stimulate thermogenesis, which is the process of metabolizing fats to generate heat. In fact, the Global Healing Center mentioned that eating hot peppers, such as Cayenne, can increase your metabolism by as much as 25%.

Cinnamon

People have had a strong love of cinnamon for quite some time due to its festive flavoring and associations with holiday time, but this powerful spice has many other advantages. Research has shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels substantially, in addition to increasing glucose metabolism by more than 18 times the regular amount. This means that it helps to make your metabolism more efficient, which is also ideal for people who have diabetes or might be close to becoming diabetic.

Mustard

People tend to think of mustard as simply a condiment, but it’s been shown that less than a teaspoon of mustard seeds can increase your metabolic rate 20 -25% for several hours after eating, which could result in roughly 50 calories being burned per hour.

If you use these herbs and spices for weight loss on a regular basis, you will gradually see and feel the difference in your overall health and well-being.

 

Everyday Fitness Tips to Help You Lead a Better Life

Fitness is very important for all age groups, especially today. It plays a big role in helping people lead a healthy life by practicing healthy habits. Getting exercise every day and eating a balanced diet are the keys to staying fit, irrespective of how old you are. There are some simple everyday fitness tips that anyone can remember and try out to enable you and your family to make healthy choices in context with your diet and exercise routines.

Notes on How to Balance Your Life

Balance is an integral aspect of anything, be it your emotional well-being, your body’s BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), or the rate at which the body burns fat while at rest. In the same way, balance is integral when it comes to organizing your calorie intake and output. Some easy fitness tips for achieving this balance include keeping a food journal, which will help you to eat within your recommended calorie structure and will further enable you to burn more than what you have consumed in order to maintain or lose weight. It is also important for you exercise for at least 30 minutes per day or take 10,000 steps to help maintain your body’s BMR. This does not mean that you have to go to the gym, however. There are easy ways to add more activity into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further away from the store or your home to get in a few more short walks throughout the day.

Get the Most Out of Your Gym Workout

Popular fitness tips to help you achieve maximum benefits from your gym workout include learning how to adapt to high-intensity interval workouts, which involve performing maximum repetitions of an exercise for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds, and then switching to a new exercise and following the same pattern for a period of time to ensure optimum fat burning. Explore workouts involving short, intense bouts of activity instead of wasting time at the gym in trying to achieve the same results using outdated workout methods.

Boosting Your Fitness Levels

The age old rule of warming up and cooling down before and after a workout are still applicable to the more modern, time-intensive workout plans of the modern age, and should be followed strictly to avoid injury and strain to your joints. It is also a good idea to maximize protein and vegetable intake, while restricting the consumption of refined carbohydrates as much as possible. Popular diets such as Paleo are prevalent among diehard fitness enthusiasts, thanks to their ability to promote muscle development along with faster fat burn. For the best everyday fitness tips, consult with a personal trainer and/or nutritionist.